Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me."
Life is pretty amazing when you think
about it. No matter where you are in life, if you sit down and look back at your
past you might wonder how on earth your still alive. At least that's how it is
for me, and possibly for you. I think back to all the trouble I got into, all
the close calls, car accidents, fights etc. and think WOW, somehow I made it
through all of that? Crazy! I never ended up in jail but most of my friends did, some
of whom are now serving time in prison. I never got into heavy drugs, but again
most of my friends did. A lot of those guys are either dead, in prison or still
heavy into drugs. By the time I was 21 years old, I had been to lots of
funerals. Although I didn't get into drugs I did however drink a lot of alcohol,
smoked pot on occasion and spent a lot of time in bars, strip clubs and at parties, bouncing from one
house to the next. I used to drink and drive and not think twice about it, when
your young you think your invincible. Because I was always drinking (with a
blood/alcohol level over the limit), I kept my
ashtray full of mints, after all I didn't smoke so that was a convenient place
to keep them. Thinking back now, not only was that a poor choice because of
safety and because I was breaking the law, it's also pretty ridiculous that I thought
those mints would actually help me not get a DUI, amazing.
You might be asking yourself, "why
is this guy telling me this?" Well, before we go any further I'll answer
that question: First off, I'm telling you this so that you know that NOBODY is
perfect, we all have our flaws. Second, It's important to paint the whole
picture of who I was before I can tell you who I am today. Ok, back to
So I drank too much alcohol, got
into fights, etc. I was a very selfish person, and believed what I was told,
"look out for number one, you deserve it" or "you gotta take care
of yourself first." Anyway, being the selfish person that I was I made a
lot of bad decisions that benefited me but usually hurt someone else. I made bad
business decisions, usually for financial gain because "It was all about
me,"...what a joke. Back
in those days, my world revolved around money and I wanted as much of it as I
could get. I hurt a lot of people in my life and because of that, I carried all
those burdens with me for years. I thought I was unforgivable and that I had to
keep all that hurt inside me forever, but that all changed. I learned about
forgiveness, true forgiveness. This true forgiveness is much more powerful then
hearing someone tell you "I forgive you".
So your probably wondering, what is true
forgiveness? Well, before we get into that subject I want to tell you how I came
to find this true forgiveness. It was in July 2009, I had been laid off from a
job several months earlier and therefore had a lot of "soul searching"
time. I knew something was missing in my life but I had no idea what that
something was. My wife, who was raised Catholic had decided to check out a non
denominational Church, probably in an effort to get me to tag along with her. Now I'm
not trying to knock the Catholic church here but as far as I was concerned, that
was not for me. I had been to Mass out of family obligation on Christmas and
Easter and I can't think of any other time in my life feeling more
un-comfortable then how I felt in that church. Knowing how being in church made
me feel, there was no way I was going to go on my own regularly. Besides, it
would cut into my fishing time and I couldn't have that. When my wife went to check out this "different church" I
supported her but wanted no part of it myself. When she got home she was all
pumped up about it and told me "It was really up beat and they had good
music, everyone was nice" then she said what she knew I needed to hear
"It was nothing like a Catholic Mass". With extreme hesitation, I agreed to check it out the
Now I don't know about you but I hate
being wrong. I always thought that Church just wasn't for me, that only
"Religious People" went to Church and that you had to be a "Good
Person" to go to Church. With those pre-conceived notions I have a
confession to make: I WAS WRONG! That Church was and is upbeat, friendly, and
welcoming. The Pastors all deliver messages in simple, easy to understand
language that anyone can grasp. In that Church, I have learned "That ALL
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", I have also learned about
true forgiveness. I have learned about Jesus Christ and what he did for you and
me. I have learned that Jesus Christ CHOSE the cross, died for your sins and
mine and then conquered death when he rose from the dead 3 days later. That's
right, I said Jesus CHOSE the cross. He took all the punishment for the whole
world so that your sins and mine, past, present and future are forgiven. Think
about that for a minute, how does that make you feel?
I'll tell you how it makes me feel, it
makes me feel the need to share that message with the world. It makes me feel so
strongly about it that I'm willing to share with the whole world the fact that I
was a dirt bag prior to finding Jesus Christ. If you don't know Jesus, ponder
this for a minute....my life has been so deeply impacted from my personal
relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I am willing to publicly
dedicate my business to Him while my competitors are plugging away with
"business as usual". Now I'm not knocking my competition, I'm just
pointing out to you that I feel so strongly about my faith that I am willing to
risk losing business over it. It's that important to me. You know what the best
part is? This gift of Eternal Life and True Forgiveness is FREE.
Our debts are paid, all you have to do is
repent from your sinful lifestyle and put your faith in Jesus. Romans 10:9-10 says "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus
is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you
will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and
it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved". To be clear, saying "Jesus is Lord" is more then just saying those words, it is an act of repentance. It is to say that YOU and I are no longer Lord of our lives, He is.
There is no such thing as a perfect
person, we all have our flaws (especially me). God does not sit up in Heaven keeping score of
our good and bad deeds in order to determine who gets to go to Heaven. If he did
keep score, Heaven would be empty because there is no way we can EARN our
way into Heaven, as stated in Romans 3:23; "For all have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God."
The fact is, every person is born a sinner
(including me) and separated from God until repenting from sin and receiving
God's gift of eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ alone as Savior and Lord. (Please understand that born again, spirit filled Christians are no longer sinners, we are Saints even though we can still sin).
This salvation with its forgiveness
of sins gives us a new nature as described in 2
Corinthians 5:17; "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!". It is entirely apart from good works,
baptism, church membership -- or man's effort -- and is of grace alone.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no
one can boast."
Today we find ourselves in a culture that looks down on
Christianity and does not want "Religion" forced upon them. First off, I
want to tell you that we are not Religious people, we are however Believers and
followers of Jesus Christ. We are Christians, and there is a difference between
Religion, and Bible based Christianity. In fact, it was Religious people that
Crucified Jesus. Why is it that people will go to great lengths to read books
about how the Bible is "wrong", watch video's on You Tube, listen to the biased
media, etc. I have an idea...HOW ABOUT READ THE BIBLE ITSELF?? The fact is, you
can only answer Scripture with Scripture. Anything, when taken out of context can be proven false, but look at the whole picture and I think you'll be amazed
at how accurate (Historically and Ethically) the Bible is and just how relevant
it is for our daily lives. It's mind boggling to see that no matter how crazy
things may get, the Bible is still relevant today, tomorrow and forever.
The Bible is not one book, it actually
contains 66 books, written over a period of 1500 years, on 3 continents, by 40
authors and in 3 languages. The amazing thing is, it flows from Genesis to
Revelation with a consistent message, Jesus. The Bible truly is God's Word. Don't
take it from me though, pick it up and read it yourself, it will transform your
life like it did mine.
Thank you and God Bless.
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we can pray for you or someone you know.